Everybody loves community, or they say they do at least. We live in a land that is parched of the life-giving water of friendship and stripped bare of many of the settings that used to make this easy for people. Robert Nisbet in his book The Quest for Community argues that what he calls a… Continue reading The Quest for Community
So, before you lose it, I’m not going to try and argue something clearly mad like “slavery is ok, really,” slavery is evil. I do think that why we argue that it is evil turns out to be an interesting question for theological method. Several years ago, I remember having very long debates with someone… Continue reading Why is slavery wrong?
A little over two years ago the Prime Minister got on our TV screens and told us we had to stay at home. We crashed into our first lockdown that we all thought would last a few months and then slowly began to realise was a two-year waking nightmare. If you don’t live in the… Continue reading After the Plague
To the ancients, friendship was the crown of life and the school of virtue. To us, it’s both of you clicking a button on Facebook. How far we have fallen. That might seem overdramatic. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d been accused of that, but I don’t think it is. God had declared our… Continue reading True Companions
The pandemic has damaged our friendships. There was a recent Atlantic Op Ed that opined that all but the closest friendships we might have are slipping away. But things were broken before that, back in 2018 the US Surgeon General announced a “loneliness epidemic”, especially facing middle-aged men. So, while the pandemic has made thing… Continue reading What are friends?
A small child totters out of the children’s work after your church’s Sunday meeting and beams at you as you get a coffee and cast about for someone to chat to. “What did you learn today?” you absentmindedly ask while thinking about ten other things. “God wants to be my friend!” they excitedly declare while… Continue reading God is our friend
Have you ever noticed how often secular advice on, for example, wellbeing coheres with what the church would say? It veers wildly away at points as well, but I don’t feel like we do a lot of noticing of when it’s the same. Not to pat ourselves on the back though—I see a bit of… Continue reading Church is for the Lonely
Two years ago, you might have approached the pink house with its purple garage door and knocked wondering at the riot of colour you would have been greeted with inside. Instead, as you open the door it would clash loudly on another door within, the two of them too close together to be opened. “Come… Continue reading Crossing a threshold
Men don’t know how to be friends anymore. Have you noticed? Ancient literature expected men to have close friends, who could bitterly betray them if they proved false and be the close loves of their hearts when they proved true. We could think of Achilles and Patroclus, Damon and Pythias, or for an example that… Continue reading Reclaiming Friendship